I’m so old (how old are you, Nonna? Nonna is so old that . . . .). I’m so old that I remember when Republicans were wrong, but weren’t nearly as batshit insane as they are now. I’m so old that I remember that Bush I didn’t really deny that global climate change was a thing (because it would have embarrassed him, unlike his progeny, to deny science), but, instead, insisted that it would cost too much to deal with the problem, would cost jobs, would slow down the economy.
If you own a home, or a car, or a pair of shoes, you know just how wrongheaded that was. If you put off needed repairs, you turn what could have been a simple, not terribly expensive, repair into a disaster. You could have replaced a few shingles on the roof, repaired one axle, simply resoled the shoe. But if you ignore the problem — I can’t afford to deal with that now; it will take too much time from other things I have to do; no one will notice — it turns into a bigger, more expensive, sometimes irreparable mess. Now, the whole roof needs replacing and the wood underneath it is rotten from the rain. Your car stops suddenly on the freeway and causes a major accident. You trip on your loose heel and break your ankle, losing weeks of work.
And, yes, dealing with climate change before it got as bad as it’s gotten would have cost some jobs in, say, the oil industry, but it would have created new ones in, for example, conservation, wind power, solar power, smart grids. It would have cost some money, and maybe that money wouldn’t have been there for Bush II’s wars, or for Halliburton, or for subsidies for Exxon. It might have (although it’s doubtful) slowed the economy, but not nearly as much as, oh, say, removing regulations from mortgage lenders.
And, now, Syria’s water wars are causing untold havoc on the lives of millions of people, forcing them to flee from their homelands, creating patriarchal warlords in Daesh; (who knew how much like the Men’s Rights Movement these monsters are?), setting off bombs in Paris, sending the xenophobes in America into a tizzy. We’ll spend uncounted billions on “intelligence” and on drones to drop bombs on bad guys, thereby creating more bad guys.
Damn, I wish we’d done the things that we could have done to control our population and our carbon back, oh, about 30 years ago. Maybe last Friday night would have been just another lovely evening in the City of Lights.
Picture found here